Extended Banking: 20 years of innovation
Twenty years ago, Focus Enterprise Solutions launched a product that would change the way companies looked at banking integrations: Extended Banking. The team that develops Extended Banking now consists of seven people. To understand the journey of this product, from its early days to its current robust form, we speak with Paul de Bruijn (Product Manager), Theo Beukers (Sales Executive) and Willem Pieter Kuijt (Developer) – the beating heart behind Extended Banking.
The birth of Extended Banking
Paul remembers the early years: “Extended Banking was born out of the need of one customer. To this end, we have developed a tailor-made solution for their ERP system. But we soon saw that there was more to it. We wanted to offer flexibility, scalability and future-proofing to all our customers. The first versions were simple but efficient in processing bank statements. With time and technological advancements, such as the shift from on-premise to the cloud, the capabilities and features have expanded tremendously.”
The Evolution of Extended Banking
In the early years of Extended Banking, the focus was mainly on the simple task of processing bank statements within a standard general journal. “Our first steps in this area were modest. The initial versions were straightforward, focused on fulfilling the core needs of our users in a direct way,” Paul recalls.
“What once started as a tool that could handle a limited number of bank statement formats has now evolved into a versatile system.” – Willem Pieter, Developer
As the years passed, improved insights into daily repetitive bank statement processing processes brought new challenges and opportunities. By letting go of the integration within the general journal and having the processing take place via a suspense account, Extended Banking became ‘mature’. The solution changed to an event-driven system and became more user-friendly and comprehensive. Not much later, the next big change presented itself: the shift from an on-premise system to the Cloud. “This change paved the way for further expansion of capabilities and features,” Paul notes.
On the technical side of evolution, Willem Pieter remembers the changes he has seen over the years. “What once started as a tool that could handle a limited number of bank statement formats has now evolved into a versatile system.” He goes on to explain: “We are proud to say that the current version of Extended Banking is capable of processing any format of bank statement, including those from foreign banks. An achievement that is a testament to our commitment to continuous improvement and of which we are particularly proud. Compared to the early days, the scale and depth of what Extended Banking is capable of has grown exponentially.”
“Our solution offers a lot of added value for both large and small companies and is completely industry independent” – Theo Beukers, Sales Executive
What will 2024 bring for Extended Banking?
Paul, with almost two decades of experience at Focus Enterprise Solutions, has seen many evolutions of Extended Banking. His enthusiasm for the future is clearly noticeable. “The roadmap for 2024 looks promising. By listening closely to the feedback from our customers, we are focusing on further integration with the banks and we will add functionality to be able to automatically match and assign less regular transactions as well. These developments should ensure even greater ease of use and efficiency in the processing of bank statements and financial data.”
Willem Pieter, based on his technical expertise, enthusiastically shares one of the upcoming features: “We are planning to add a feedback button within our application. It allows users to provide instant feedback while using Extended Banking. This gives us a better picture of the needs and allows us to respond even better.”
“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, but we’re even more excited about what the future holds.” – Paul de Bruijn, Product Manager
Theo adds: “We want to further strengthen the relationships with both our current and new customers and their Microsoft partners, both nationally and internationally. And we want to make sure that Extended Banking becomes the standard for Dynamics 365 Finance (also known as F&O) users. Our solution offers a lot of added value for both large and small companies and is completely industry independent.”
Paul concludes with a reflection: “Extended Banking is a reflection of the values of Focus Enterprise Solutions. It is a product that continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of our customers. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, but we’re even more excited about what the future holds.”
Do you want to know how you can use Extended Banking within your organization? Please contact us!
What is Extended Banking?
Extended Banking is an innovative solution from Focus that supports companies in processing bank statements. Integrated with Dynamics 365 Finance, it offers a range of features for matching bank transactions, processing diverse bank statement formats, and scaling to business needs, all wrapped up in an easy-to-use interface. Extended Banking enables organizations to process bank transactions more efficiently, match more accurately, and increase productivity. This results in a better understanding of financial data and improved operational control. With powerful features such as automatic matching, flexible import options, and extensive reporting capabilities, Extended Banking is a valuable addition to companies’ financial processes, providing an integrated and streamlined approach to managing banking transactions.
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